BfW is a game that relies on save-scumming too much

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otzenpunk
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Re: BfW is a game that relies on save-scumming too much

Post by otzenpunk » March 31st, 2019, 10:47 pm

Yomar wrote:
March 31st, 2019, 9:24 pm
I don't find anything wrong in RNGs, but it would really help if the rolls would be more consistent.
Too often I saw streaks of unreallistics hits or misses.
Well, the rolls are consistently random. And there are a lot of it. During the course of an average scenario there're probably around 100 battles to be fought. This means, you're very likely to see about one totally unrealistic event with a probability of ~0.1% every ten scenarios! It's unlucky, when that happens in a crucial situation, and you probably can't defend against this. But preparing for 10% events, or even 3% events, is part of the game. If your leader, or any other important unit, is in danger to die with a 10% probability, you probably shouldn't engage in that battle anyway and rather retreat him to safety, unless your situation is already desperate.
Like a druid always been able to slow an unit on 70% def.,
The probability of a druid hitting at least 1 of 2 hits against 70% defense is actually 51%, meaning that doing this e.g. 3 times in a row is still 12.5%. This happens all the time.
a swordsman missing all hits on a Wose in a village with 20% def.
This is actually round about the 0.1% I talked about earlier. Quite unlikely, but in no way "nearly impossible" or anything like that.
this mage missed the Wose with all 3 attacks, then second and third mage missed both 2 out of 3 so out of 9 hits they hit only 3 times, result, next turn there were 3 dead mages.
I'm wondering, how these three mages have been planned to be protected, had the third one actually killed the wose. Apparently there must have been a couple of other dangerous enemy units around.
I think that skill counts, but in this game luck can beat skill sometime.
Sure. But this is the case in every game depending partly on random events. Poker for example is highly depending on luck. However, nobody would deny that there are better and worse players, and the better ones tend to win most of the time. In sports like football, there are games, where the clearly better team loses against an inferior one, just because they run out of luck. And there are definitely examples of battles in history, where no historian can really tell why the winner won, and the loser lost, against all odds. Often, this is explained in hindsight by a better moral of the victorious troops. You can take this as an explanation for unlucky Wesnoth battles as well. Maybe your elite swordsman was so convinced of himself, that he didn't take his opponent seriously and got caught flatfooted?

Some time ago I've seen a series of Let's Play videos of Wesnoth on Youtube, where the player constantly showed his cognitive bias. Whenever he was favoured by the RNG, he commentated like "yeah, good boy, [unit name], you're a true hero", but whenever it went the other way around, he called up the statistics window and was like "ffs, this RNG is [censored], see how it benefits the AI again". m)

Stopped watching after a while, because it was so annoying.
Like a player that was completely destroying a noob, but then an unit coming from nowhere (cause he was out of his sight range) reaches his leader hits with all attacks and kills him.
Definitely a mistake to leave the leader unprotected. I don't know the circumstances of this particular incident, but normally leaders can't be killed by a single level 1 unit with a single attack, so he was either already wounded, a particularly weak unit like a druid against a horseman in daylight, or the attacker was a higher level unit as well, which the player should have known is hiding somewhere around. Either way, the leader should have been protected with enough ZOCs or the player should at least have maintained enough sight around his leader to detect even the fastest approaching enemy units in a timely manner. It's like in boxing. If you're clearly leading by points in the last round, but get knocked out with a lucky punch, the rules are not wrong, but you just made a grave mistake you shouldn't have made.

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Re: BfW is a game that relies on save-scumming too much

Post by josteph » March 31st, 2019, 11:54 pm

Aldarisvet wrote:
March 31st, 2019, 8:09 am
But somehow it appeared that people do not cry on RNG system of other games, but they cry about Wesnoth RNG. I think that this a reason to think out why it is so.
Sure, that's a good question. Is there something we should change in the RNG or in the combat mechanics? If we come up with good ideas we can test them in mods or in 2.0.

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Re: BfW is a game that relies on save-scumming too much

Post by Pentarctagon » April 1st, 2019, 12:43 am

The reason is straight forward enough, I think. Negativity bias of course plays a part, but streaks of bad luck that cause a player to lose through no fault of their own are also very frustrating. Save scumming in campaigns is one thing, but it's even worse in MP where you can't reload and games can take hours or longer.

What I don't think I've heard is a solution to that which can't be abused. Assuming that preventing streaks of bad luck means preventing outliers (both positive and negative), would that mean that even though a Mage is listed as having a 70% chance to hit from Magical that it is effectively guaranteed to always hit at least once? Or if Dark Adept misses both its attacks, does that mean it's now a better time to try to use a Ghoul to poison a unit on high defense?
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Re: BfW is a game that relies on save-scumming too much

Post by max_torch » April 1st, 2019, 3:20 am

My two cents:
I like the fact that Wesnoth trains you to differentiate between bad skill and bad luck. This is a really good life skill IMO

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Re: BfW is a game that relies on save-scumming too much

Post by Aldarisvet » April 1st, 2019, 9:03 am

josteph wrote:
March 31st, 2019, 11:54 pm
Aldarisvet wrote:
March 31st, 2019, 8:09 am
But somehow it appeared that people do not cry on RNG system of other games, but they cry about Wesnoth RNG. I think that this a reason to think out why it is so.
Sure, that's a good question. Is there something we should change in the RNG or in the combat mechanics? If we come up with good ideas we can test them in mods or in 2.0.
If you asking I can suggest a simple solution that for sure can be implemented in 1.16, no need to wait for 2.0. Or may be it is not so easy given the engine is too focused on a hit-miss system? :hmm: I mean, in the current system the target can cry if it is wounded and do not cry in the case of a miss, but the probability of a total miss would be really close to zero with what I suggest.

The Idea is to address an issue mentioned by Xalzar. Just to increase the number of dice rolls.
Each unit's strike must be splitted into 10 dices. It will stay visually as a single strike but it outcomes must be split from 2 outcomes (missed or hit) to 11 outcomes from no damage to full damage.

For example of Dragonguard attacking one time with 40 damage a unit with 70% defence and no resistances it will create such range of outcomes:
0 damage with 0.7^10*(1) probability
4 damage with 0.3*0.7^9*(10) probability
8 damage with 0.3^2*0.7^8*(10*9/2) probability
...
20 damage with 0.3^5*0.7^5*(10*9*8*7*6/5!) probability
...
36 damage with 0.3^9*0.7*(10) probability
40 damage with 0.3^10*(1) probability

This system will convert 40*1 to 4*10 in terms of current system and will convert 5*4 to 0.5*40 and so on.
But it will not demand anything to change in the visual side of the game, there would be no need on rebalancing campaigns or factions. If an elf warrior attacks 4 times it still would attack 4 times. Only the result of his every attack would be not only 0 or 5 but a large variety of outcomes between 0 and 5 with 0.5 step ( including 0 and 5).
I.e. he attacks 4 times and get for example these results: 1 at the first strike, 3.5 at the second strike, 2.5 at the third strike and 4 at the forth strike.

Among other things this system almost will kill the opportunity for abusing save&loads because it would be much harder to get a result greatly above the average in the one single fight.
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Re: BfW is a game that relies on save-scumming too much

Post by josteph » April 1st, 2019, 4:40 pm

Aldarisvet wrote:
April 1st, 2019, 9:03 am
This system will convert 40*1 to 4*10 in terms of current system and will convert 5*4 to 0.5*40 and so on.
Thanks for making a concrete proposal.

I agree that increasing the number of strikes will make the outcome of battles more predictable.
Spoiler:
Increasing the number of strikes, as you describe, will make the Cuttlefish (3x10) virtually deterministic and remove the main distinguishing feature of the Thunderer line. In fact, there will be little difference between a 6x3 attack and a 3x6 attack; only the product of the two numbers will matter. That's so because, by design, your multiplier is large enough in relation to terrain defense values as to make the RNG almost irrelevant.

I think the changes you describe can be implemented in an add-on for 1.14. I'd like to encourage you to do this and publish the add-on to the server for everyone's benefit. That's the best way to make the changes available for playtesting.

I don't think I would enjoy this mode of play, mind you - I think a multiplier of 10 would make wesnoth too deterministic - but there's no accounting for taste. I still encourage you to implement that add-on and I hope you'll enjoy wesnoth better with it.

If you implement it, could you make the multiplier a settable option? I would playtest this but with a multiplier of 2, not 10.
Aldarisvet wrote:
March 31st, 2019, 8:09 am
For example, almost every mainline campaign relies on healers deeply (except Liberty as I remember for what I like Liberty and of course DiD and SotA because undead do not have healers). Kinda developers of campaigns sought this frontline/rotate/heal system is a golden standard that must be in every campaign.
That's not a problem with the RNG or with the AI but with campaign design. I recommend that you ask around for campaigns that don't expect a rotate/heal system. I guess most orcish and undead campaigns qualify, or you might like single-unit campaigns such as Voyage of a Drake. And now that I think of it, didn't someone win HttT under a self-imposed "no recalls" restriction by using "recruit cheap units and send them to die" tactics?
Aldarisvet wrote:
April 1st, 2019, 9:03 am
Among other things this system almost will kill the opportunity for abusing save&loads because it would be much harder to get a result greatly above the average in the one single fight.
Why should I care whether other players save&load?

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Re: BfW is a game that relies on save-scumming too much

Post by shevegen » April 1st, 2019, 8:07 pm

> Among other things this system almost will kill the opportunity for abusing save&loads

This is a bad definition. Now it is first april, I know I know but ... it begins with the term "abusing".

What exactly does this mean? As a game, wesnoth can ENCOURAGE people to not do/use
save/loads/reloads - but should it enforce it? I think that is pointless. The source code is available
for people to change. Anyone who wants to change the behaviour should be able to do so; I
even think it should not be exclusive to those who are C++ gurus either.

It is not up to you to want to dictate behaviour in a way to assume that anyone else may "abuse"
it. It should be UP TO THE PEOPLE who play the game - not you, or anyone else, really.

SAVE and LOAD is a feature, not an anti-feature nor an "abuse" feature. Note that I refer to
solo games - obviously for multiplayer we may have to use a stricter set of definitions, if only
to ensure that everyone agrees on the same set of rules and behaviour. For multiplay strong
standards are a good thing - otherwise people would disagree and argue about what is
possible and what is not after gameplay, which is not good. For solo play there is really no
reason as to why save/load should not be possible at the player's discretion.

> Why should I care whether other players save&load?

Exactly! :)

I guess nobody other than Aldarisvet knows why either.

PS: Just to clarify, I do not even think that wesnoth should encourage people to not use
save/load either; wesnoth really should have no "opinion" about it whatsoever and instead
let people do/play/use the game/software how they want to.

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Re: BfW is a game that relies on save-scumming too much

Post by josteph » April 1st, 2019, 9:16 pm

shevegen wrote:
April 1st, 2019, 8:07 pm
PS: Just to clarify, I do not even think that wesnoth should encourage people to not use
save/load either; wesnoth really should have no "opinion" about it whatsoever and instead
let people do/play/use the game/software how they want to.
Well, yes and no. I do agree that wesnoth shouldn't try to prevent players from using save/load in SP games, but on the other hand, I also think it's worthwhile to spell out somewhere that the mainline campaigns are designed to be played without save/loading, for the benefit of new players who otherwise might think they're expected to use save/load.

Maybe add a scene to the tutorial where we have the player do an attack, force that attack to miss 4/4, and then the narrator explains that that happens sometimes and campaigns generally don't expect you to save/load when it happens (but you can do whatever you wish).

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Re: BfW is a game that relies on save-scumming too much

Post by Aldarisvet » April 1st, 2019, 9:31 pm

josteph wrote:
April 1st, 2019, 4:40 pm
Why should I care whether other players save&load?
Actually I do care as a campaign creator.
It is really a pity when a player instead of thinking decide to use some plain but wrong strategy, justifiably fails with this strategy but then tries it again and again using save&loads and and finally with lot of efforts he passes the scenario. I personally feel that this is naturally a desecration of my designs. Also it is a pain to see how people play that way.

Moveover, I can assure that overwhelming majority of players who never will visit this forum playing exact that way because it is absoultely normal to use reloads in the vast majority of games. Again because in other games RNG does not provide so much bonuses.

I was absolutely neutral about wesnoth RNG because as a campaign creator I always can prevent a player from abusing RNG. Using lvl0 units is one of the instruments I already prefer. I just understood that I did that unconsciously, and now I know why I was forced to do so.

This all reminds me khalifate theme. There was so much discussions about it and I take part in one arguing (kinda from another point of view compared most khalifate critics) that if the idea was to create more tolerance in the real world then for sure the faction must look less alienated and more assimilated to the fantasy game style and the western culture. Finally something changed. Probably here something would change with RNG too some day. Especially given it is hard to ignore voices in Steam because it is not an inner forum where you can simply mark some discussons undesirable and anyone who disagrees as minority ;)

But again, I can repeat RNG is not a big problem of the game. For me the problem is a gameplay. I was disappointed very quickly in Wesnoth as a tactical game and after several attempts hardly can believe that UMC authors can really suggest something original in that aspect. The problem is that if you learned some tactical basics about unit's positioning - that is all, the game simply cannot suggest you more to learn (inside mainline restrictions of course). You can change decorations - factions, races, maps, campaigns - but it is still the same gameplay (if only you do not create something totally new like Era of Magic but I think this is not a way for me). I think that a tactical potential is still left inside mainline restrictions. Now I am not a player, I am a creator, I am trying to think out something very original not going too far from mainline.
Last edited by Aldarisvet on April 2nd, 2019, 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BfW is a game that relies on save-scumming too much

Post by beetlenaut » April 1st, 2019, 10:11 pm

josteph wrote:
April 1st, 2019, 9:16 pm
Maybe add a scene to the tutorial where we have the player do an attack, force that attack to miss 4/4, and then the narrator explains that that happens sometimes and campaigns generally don't expect you to save/load when it happens
This message is a really good idea. However, I bet it's rare that someone saveloads when a fighter or archer misses 4 out of 4 times. More often it seems to be when an important unit dies. Maybe we should do it the first time a unit dies in the tutorial. We could even force that if it hasn't happened yet and the enemy is down to just a couple units. (The player would be winning handily in that case.)
Aldarisvet wrote:
April 1st, 2019, 9:31 pm
I personally feel that this is naturally a desecration of my designs. Also it is a pain to see how people play that way.
As a content creator myself, I see your point. However, I think you are taking it too personally. (If they saveload and then complain about the difficulty level, then you can take it personally.)
Aldarisvet wrote:
April 1st, 2019, 9:31 pm
it is absoultely normal to use reloads in vast majority of games.
Citation needed.
Aldarisvet wrote:
April 1st, 2019, 9:31 pm
The problem is that if you learned some tactical basics about unit's positioning - that is all, the game simply cannot suggest you more to learn
Would you say that about chess? "Chess is all about unit positioning. Once you know that, there is nothing else to learn."
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Re: BfW is a game that relies on save-scumming too much

Post by Aldarisvet » April 2nd, 2019, 10:02 am

beetlenaut wrote:
April 1st, 2019, 10:11 pm
Aldarisvet wrote:
April 1st, 2019, 9:31 pm
it is absoultely normal to use reloads in the vast majority of games.
Citation needed.
You mean I made a controversial statement?
Well, I am speaking from my experience and also many games have quicksave hotkey option. What this made for if not to provide an ability to reload fast if something goes wrong?
It does not matter if it is a shooter or strategy or RPG - in most games what you do affects the result much stronger than RNG results in these games (if any RNG there). StarCraft do not have RNG at all as I remember yet it is StarCraft. In D&D games series you cannot save during battles but often they are relatively short. And (from my experience) only in Wesnoth reloads can fully compensate the lack of skill.
beetlenaut wrote:
April 1st, 2019, 10:11 pm
As a content creator myself, I see your point. However, I think you are taking it too personally. (If they saveload and then complain about the difficulty level, then you can take it personally.)
For me it is quite important how people play my scenarios. It often took weeks on thinking about them. I want that people guessed for some original way, for they shouted "eureka!" inside themselves when they find a proper strategy. I want this because I myself like such games where you have to guess for some way to win. And I myself playing games get a pleasure only if I tried one way, another way and suddenly I understood how to win it, not in constantly reproducing always the same tactics. It is like a chess etude for me. You get the moment of happiness when you get that insight. For me it is all about insights, and I do my scenarios in the way I myself would have pleasure playing them (however I got that sometimes it is better to explicitly write about the solution in the scenario objectives because people in the mass do not bother themselves with thinking and prefer save-scumming instead).
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Re: BfW is a game that relies on save-scumming too much

Post by Yomar » April 2nd, 2019, 9:37 pm

I think that someone already said, that no one is forced to save and load, if some campaign developers have this concern, they could implement a save limit or autodelete feature if possible.
As for luck maybe the rng should be reworked in a way that the dice rolls are more consistent with what expected, like if the first unit with a magic attack misses all 3 times then the second will hit all 3 times, or the chance of hit increses for a unit with every previous miss, this would reduce high streaks of subsequencal missing attacks.

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Re: BfW is a game that relies on save-scumming too much

Post by Konrad2 » April 2nd, 2019, 9:49 pm

For me it is quite important how people play my scenarios. It often took weeks on thinking about them. I want that people guessed for some original way, for they shouted "eureka!" inside themselves when they find a proper strategy. I want this because I myself like such games where you have to guess for some way to win. And I myself playing games get a pleasure only if I tried one way, another way and suddenly I understood how to win it, not in constantly reproducing always the same tactics. It is like a chess etude for me. You get the moment of happiness when you get that insight. For me it is all about insights, and I do my scenarios in the way I myself would have pleasure playing them (however I got that sometimes it is better to explicitly write about the solution in the scenario objectives because people in the mass do not bother themselves with thinking and prefer save-scumming instead).
It seems to boil down to you wanting every single player that plays your campaign to have no other choice but to play it in one specific way.
Or putting it in different words, noone should be allowed to play it unless they follow your specific design. Is that about right?

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Re: BfW is a game that relies on save-scumming too much

Post by gnombat » April 2nd, 2019, 10:59 pm

Konrad2 wrote:
April 2nd, 2019, 9:49 pm
It seems to boil down to you wanting every single player that plays your campaign to have no other choice but to play it in one specific way.
Or putting it in different words, noone should be allowed to play it unless they follow your specific design. Is that about right?
:hmm: If it makes no difference what strategy/tactics you choose to use in a scenario and you will still win regardless, then it doesn't sound like a very challenging scenario.

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Re: BfW is a game that relies on save-scumming too much

Post by Konrad2 » April 2nd, 2019, 11:01 pm

gnombat wrote:
April 2nd, 2019, 10:59 pm
:hmm: If it makes no difference what strategy/tactics you choose to use in a scenario and you will still win regardless, then it doesn't sound like a very challenging scenario.
That's true, but I wonder why you quote me while saying that? :hmm:

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